My entire reason for running, is to ensure that my children and yours, will have the education that they need to succeed in life. I want to see our up and coming generations stay in Kansas as small business owners, entrepreneurs, and as contributing members of our work force. As such, education is my main focus. Sure, I’ll work on other topics for the good of our State, but my priority will be our children, and our future. I think that’s something worth investing in, and making a Statewide priority.
We have schools that do not have adequate heating and cooling. We have teachers living off of State programs to make ends meet. We have students that don’t have the materials that they need to increase their educational and productive potential. It’s time that we focus on what matters. Our children are our future, and without a good, solid educational background we are dooming them to failure. If elected Governor, I vow to make it my priority to ensure that Kansas schools receive the funding they need.
In 2013, a report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities revealed that the majority of states had responded to the Great Recession by severely slashing their education spending. But Kansas occupied a truly special place in the ranks of education cutting: the fourth worst, according to a Kake News. That news report noted, “State aid to school districts was reduced by more than $400 million from the 2008-09 to the 2009-10 academic years … Kansas schools are about $100 million under budget, and cuts to education may have lasting effects on the quality of education.”
Our student population continues to increase, exponentially, while our teachers continue to leave. As a result, the predictable effects have indeed emerged. A report from the Kansas-based Kansas Center for Economic Growth found budget cuts have meant “classrooms are getting more crowded.” 96 percent of districts say base state aid per pupil is increasingly insufficient and has not kept up with increased costs to run schools. bout 30 percent of districts have reduced or eliminated athletic and non-athletic extracurricular activities, as well as arts and music programs.
When the 2017 school year began, there were 1,500 teacher vacancies in our State. The number of Kansans attending college with the goal of becoming teachers is steadily dwindling. If elected Governor, I will work to ensure an increase of pay to teachers, and formulate long-term, stable school finance plans so that districts will have the tools that they need to offer teachers a position, and to bring in the very best talent four Kansas kids. Better salaries mean we can staff our schools adequately with a decent teacher to student ratio.
This trend simply cannot be allowed to continue any further. We MUST reinvest in our State’s education system, K-12 and Community College level. We have to reinvest in our teachers. We have to reinvest in our programs for art, music and athletics. If elected as your next Governor, I vow to make education and a sustainable State budget my priorities.
I want to hear from you. What issues are important to you? What should I prioritize? Send me an EMAIL, and I’ll post your question here, along with my response letting you know where I stand on the issue.